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The fingers of fudge

Letters

Your article on the construction of the facilities for the Olympic Games and the qualities required of those tasked with producing them (NCE last week) will, no doubt, produce considerable discussion. The organisational set-up seems unduly complex and has too many 'fingers in the pie' politicians.

Having been involved in publicly funded projects both at home and overseas, I confess I smiled at the list of qualities required in applicants.

No doubt those involved in projects such as the Barbican Centre, the Dome and the Scottish Parliament Building considered that they possessed most, if not all, of the qualities listed.

So what went wrong- I believe that in the three cases mentioned the projects began before the drawings and specifications were complete.

The form of contract meant none of those directly involved had any incentive to meet budget or deadline.

For the Olympics, each project should have a project manager on a fixed fee plus a bonus for successful completion. All the professionals should be on a fixed fee based on the complexity and budgeted cost of the project. That way there will be a real incentive to get the project finished on time.

After the great publicity occasioned by our failures, it is up to the construction industry to show it can produce exciting projects on budget and on time.

Sir Francis McWilliams (F), Flat 7, Whittingehame House, Whittingehame, East Lothian, Scotland

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